Tulsa Spine and Rehab offers many different services performed by several specialty physician and physical therapists. They ‘re not into a cookie cutter “one size fits all” healing mentality. A typical physician may exam you, check range of motion and ask where it hurts. Then offer pain meds and perhaps some chiropractic care. But what if they didn’t find the actual problem?
At Tulsa Spine and Rehab there are different providers in the clinic working to do things a little bit differently. Not only collectively in the clinic but in examinations as well. They have implemented functional movement screens to see what you’re moving and what your functional movement is like. That simply means, how well are you able to flex, bend down? How well are you able to extend? How well are you able to rotate right and left?
Tulsa Spine and Rehab doctors take notes on how well you’re moving and where there might be a limitation. And then tease that out to see if it’s a mobility issue:
- Is he just stuck?
- Can he not move, is he tight?
- Is it flexibility?
- Or do we need to go a little deeper?
- Is it a stability issue?
One of those tests to find out is the overhead deep squat. It’s the most comprehensive test used in that screening system because it gives so much information. The patient stands with their feet shoulder width apart, their toes pointing forward and hold a dowel or something straight about their head. Right off the bat, doctors can assess shoulder mobility. When we take something and hold it overhead with arms extended, we may see that the patient has an asymmetry or one arm is maybe down and not as high as the other that’s going to give some information on their shoulders.
Now what we’re going to do is have them try to perform a simple deep squat keeping that object or dowel, or golf club above their head. Keeping their toes pointing forward and their heels on the ground. Get them to try and drop that butt down while the doctors are assessing and looking at motion.
This is a very difficult test to perform as the arms are going to go forward and the heels are going to come up. Doctors are able to check for ankle mobility, knee mobility, hip mobility, and thoracic spine mobility – that area between your shoulder blades. And then we’re able to assess how stable your core is. Maybe the patient has lost some ankle mobility and is weak in the core and the thoracic spine is stiff. Now we have more information with my traditional exam findings to treat you properly.
We might work on mobility with ankle mobility with thoracic spine and core stability. And the patient only came in with low back pain. So typically we’re going to work you up with all the traditional orthopedic test, neurological, range of motion and palpation and in addition to that we’re going to do this functional movement screens that is going to provide us with more information. And like at the clinic we talk about treating you comprehensively.
Tulsa Spine and Rehab has an advantage because of the multiple tools available in the toolbox. Sometimes a practitioner, whoever it may be, may stick with straight orthopedic neurological palpation range of motion and it might just be medication management or straight chiropractic and they adjust the spine. And it may be that some of these issues are contributing and that’s what we’re after. What could be potentially contributing to low back pain?
A comprehensive exam is time consuming. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to take a detailed history and the exam can take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes as well. That first visit is very important. It gives the doctor a good determination on:
- what’s the problem and
- can I help them? Or
- do I need to send them to someone else?
From there the treatment plan is developed and executed. We may need to stay on that patient to get in and get it done and keep encouraging them to do things on their own as well. If you’re dealing with aches and pains, there’s no need to suffer any longer. Tulsa Spine and Rehab has a range of treatments options available. Contact Tulsa’s Tulsa Spine and Rehab with questions.
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